How to Recognize a Mouse Nest

Mice hidden away in a nest.
  • Beginner

There are many different types of mice including the deer, field, and harvest mouse, but the most common mouse found in a home is the house mouse. This creature is grey or brown in color with a pointed muzzle, long thin tail, large ears, and small dark eyes. Mice generally live outside, but since they are omnivorous, they will eat anything that humans consume and will find your home and pantry appealing. Finding a mouse nest is an indication that you have an unwelcome guest in your home, and it's a good place to start getting rid of the problem.

Why Does a Mouse Enter Your Home?

When the weather turns cold, a mouse is attracted to the heat that radiates from your home through doors and windows. Being a natural scavenger, a mouse can also detect food odors. Any opening that is ¼ inch or bigger will allow a rodent access to your home.

Mice and Diseases

Property damage and food damage are some of the primary reasons to rid your home of rodents, but in addition to that, they can bring fleas, ticks, and worms inside. Ticks from mice can infect humans with Lyme disease, and bacteria mice carry can contaminate food preparation areas in your kitchen with salmonella. Mice also carry diseases like the Hantavirus, which attacks the respiratory system in humans and in some cases can be fatal.

What Does a Mouse Nest Look Like?

A mouse nest is assembled for offspring and made from any fibrous material found by the rodent. Pieces of string, shredded paper, torn cloth, food wrappers, and stuffing from pillows or mattresses can all be used. After gathering these items, the mouse will form them into a small ball and live inside of it. You will know that it is a nest especially if you find mouse droppings inside or around it.

Where Will You Find A Mouse Nest?

Mice like to stay warm, so the ideal spots for their nests are behind a stove with a pilot light and in the back of the refrigerator. Kitchen cabinets and pantries are also preferred spots since mice like to live near food and water. A mouse is timid so it tends to stay close to its nest and food source. They usually only travel 15 to 25 feet away from their nest at any given time.

Once you've managed to locate any nests in your home, note these areas and pay special attention to them during your efforts to exterminate the mice. Certain baits and poisons should be used near nests so it is guaranteed that the pests will encounter them. Also, if the nests remain active, you know for certain the problem hasn't been fixed.

Keep Things Clean and Neat

Stop mice from returning by eliminating their reason for being there. For example, a cluttered home with scattered food and crumbs lying around is a mouse magnet. Not only does a messy house attract them, but it provides great hiding places for them. To discourage the presence of mice in your home, keep piles of clothes off of the floor, place food in sealed containers, and vacuum regularly.

Eliminate Entrance Holes

Frequently check the outside of your home for any cracks or spaces rodents can fit through. All doors and windows need to be tight-fitting, and any gaps around pipes, utility lines, and vents should be sealed. Use caulk, metal, or concrete to close off any other places where mice can get in. Place grates over ductwork and secure a screen on top of your chimney.

Follow this advice and always be aware of your home and its surroundings so you can nip potential pest problems in the butt early on.